Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Evening in the kitchen and a blog-around annoucement
(Yes, I will get to the table, indulge me for a moment before we get there.)
Jackie Kennedy would have turned eighty years old this week. In honor of her singular and unforgettable influence on grace, elegance, and style, Blushing Hostess will host a Grace in Everyday Life Blog-Around next Friday, August 7th. I will post a link widget here at Blushing Hostess Entertains that day, and you can swing by and put up your permalink for all readers to visit. Share a story, anecdote, photo, poem, song or any thing of beauty you consider an example of grace. You need not put up a new post if you have one up on your blog already which applies, then simply drop that permalink into the widget.
What do you say? Will you do this with me? Help to recognize elegance and gentility
in this life? I dare say my days would be improved with so very much more, and I look forward to your memories, to the things you return to when the world is not kind. I will post a reminder so be sure to subscribe now.
Now on to the table.
Dinner in our home is a movable feast: Sometimes the dining room, porch, or in the kitchen. If dinner is early or messy, it is in the kitchen. Last evening's supper was the latter and because the floor of the kitchen is tile, it is the best choice for feeding ancho chili and lime tacos to a two-year-old.
I also wanted for you to see that we dine in a rather unremarkable way (but, I hope, still graciously), on the occasional evenings at home. It is this way much more often now that I have these two tiny girls. I have a tiny kitchen table. The rule of thumb in setting a table is that each diner has two feet of space in which to eat to allow for elbow room. I cannot accommodate that on this table. Previously, the table was alternately the service table in my Mother's kitchen in Bedford, my study table while I was at Providence, and my dining room table when I was flat broke and newly on my own. I have looked for another table for many years and found nothing. Given this table's history, it could be a psychological block.
I set this table without really thinking but realized as I was taking the pictures how very important that tablecloth is; to me, that is. All the damask in the world does not climb to the esteem in which I hold that cloth. It was my paternal grandmother's. She died two years before I was born. That cloth survived the fire that destroyed my parents home and some of their blackened china was wrapped in it to remove it quickly before the salvage people arrived and removed literally everything. You might say it has seen its fair share of hell and survived to become a most precious object. Whenever I lay it and smooth it out on the table top, I look at the nearly faded stain, just off center and wonder what dinner of hers must have left that mark or which fire damaged object once nestled against it.
The plates were a gift from my beautiful friend Lois, I serve on them as much as possible because I like to think of her, she has been gone to the West a long time now. They are Italian, no pattern information. The kitchen flatware is, and will always be, Crate and Barrel's Revolution, it is heavy and sturdy but still twinkles. The condiment server is Lenox Butler's Pantry, a line I adore for the vast list of arcane serving products one can find in it and its ability to sit easily on a table with any other pattern.
I do not use taco boxes or mixes (ever, and that applies to everything), I spent a lot time working in Central America and love true Latin food. This was Ancho Chile and Lime Tacos with Rick Bayless's amazing sauce which is prepared quickly and painlessly and cloaks any number of healthy vegetables my Daughter would not knowingly consume otherwise.
So, what can I say? As you can tell, we drink enormous amounts of water, so the glasses have to be sixteen ounces. And regarding napkins, I practice what I preach: No paper, ever because I love oxygen that much, yes, but I also really cannot stand paper. So, nothing special. Just dinner in the kitchen as it was for my Brother and I before my parents parties, as it is for us some evenings now that we have two infants, and as I hope we always will be: Stuffed into a tiny but gracious space during a fierce rain storm with all the things that were handed down. And, I will take this over Cipriani any night.
Further tables can be found at Between Naps on the Porch , heirlooms at Emma calls me Mom, and pleasnt things at Hooked on Houses.
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